Preventing child sexual abuse by helping adults to manage their own behaviour: establishing a helpline

Document type
Paskell, Caroline; Brown, Ashley; McNaughton-Nicholls, Carol
NatCen Social Research
Date of publication
1 May 2014
Children and Young People, Offenders
Social welfare
Material type

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The Toolkit is focused on preventing child sexual abuse by helping adults to manage their own behaviour. This can include: abusers known to the authorities, undetected abusers and adults who are at risk of sexually abusing a child (online or offline) but who have not acted. The Toolkit is relevant whether you are considering working with any adult who requires help to manage their sexual behaviour, or focusing on specific sub-groups such as undetected abusers. Prevention initiatives can take a range of approaches. However the Toolkit is centred on one type of service: a helpline which offers information, advice, guidance and support to adults who require help to manage their sexual behaviour, thoughts or feelings. Where resources and local context allow, the helpline can also act as a gateway to additional specialist services. The Toolkit is intended to help in designing a service which suits the specific national or local context in which you work. In order to engage its core target group of adults who may sexually abuse children, a prevention helpline should also be promoted to the general public and professionals. Such a helpline can also focus on a broader range of groups such as parents/carers, the family of abusers and professionals who work with people who may be sexually harmful towards children. The Toolkit is also relevant in working with these groups.

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